Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey with His Wordless Daughter

Robert Rummel-Hudson, Author . St. Martin’s $22.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-312-37242-2

The monster in this heartfelt memoir is polymicrogyria, an extremely rare brain malformation that, in the case of Rummel-Hudson’s daughter Schuyler, has completely impaired her ability to speak. During her first three years, as her parents seek to find out what hidden “monster” is causing her wordlessness, they endure “two years of questions and tests and at least one unsatisfactory diagnosis.” But while Rummel-Hudson initially rages at God for giving Schuyler “a life that would never ever be what we’d imagined it to be,” his depiction of her next four years becomes a study not only in Schuyler’s vivacious and resilient personality, but also in the redeeming power of understanding and a “stupid blind father’s love.” As he describes how Schuyler eagerly takes to various forms of communication, such as basic sign language and an alternative and augmentative communication device that provides whole words she can type to express her thoughts, Rummel-Hudson effectively and compassionately shows how the “gentle strangeness about her, like a visitor from some realm where no one spoke but everyone laughed,” leads him to understand that “she was the one teaching me how to make my way in this new world.” (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 02/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4299-4668-1
Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-312-53880-4
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